Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ode to Mojito's

My mint plant.  My phone is at the bottom to show scale.
Ahhh, the mojito.  So fresh.  So tart.  So sweet.  So perfect.  I'm devoting an entire blog entry to the mojito because it is the most perfect drink ever in the whole wide world to me.  I even planted a good bit of mint (see above) this spring as to not have to pay the ridiculous price at the store and/or have a nervous breakdown when I run out and need "mommy's relaxer".

 Let's start with a little history lesson.

The mojito (moe-hee-toe) is a traditional Cuban highball consisting of 5 ingredients.  Rum, lime, sugar, mint and sparkling water.  There are several theories as to where the name Mojito came from.  One relates the name to "Mojo", a Cuban seasoning made from lime and another is it's a derivative of the word "mojadito" which is Spanish for "a little wet".  I assumed it meant "a lot sloshed". 
A recipe will follow but please note I have a little short cut.  A traditional recipe will have you muddle (squash together) the sugar and mint to allow the mint to release it's oil, not unlike cooking strawberries with sugar to make a sauce.  Feel free to do this but it's a tad time consuming and when I need a drink, I need a drink like now.

What's special about a mojito is that it has a unique drinkability in that you can have quite a few and feel invincible great! The following is a list of why I choose this drink over the others, perhaps you'll identify with me:
  1. Beer fills me up
  2. Wine gives me a headache
  3. Foo-foo-ier drinks are all sugar and will make your belly hurt eventually
  4. Tequila makes me regret decisions I'm sure are a good idea at the time
  5. Brown liquor makes me fight
I want everyone to try to make their own mojitos! You really can't get them wrong and you can always tweak as you go.  This is my recipe for the perfect mojito (Sorry about the cheat):
  • 1 jigger  = 1 1/2 oz. rum - really any will do although I don't love citrus rums
  • 7 mint leaves - you can find mint amongst the produce in your grocery
  • 2 oz. of Limeade - the frozen kind but made w/ 2 cans of water, not 3...and yes I know this is a cheat but to cut and use a billion fresh limes for as many mojitos as i consume would make us go broke
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Sparkling water - any kind
Fill a glass pint glass with ice.  Transfer ice into a shaker tin.  Add all ingredients except soda water, place pint glass back on shaker and shake like hell until the mint is broken up.  Pour into pint glass and top with soda water.  ALWAYS use a straw to drink a mojito or you will look like a boob as you unsuccessfully casually try to pick mint out of your mouth over and over.  You may notice the sugar doesn't completely dissolve.  Don't panic! That's the best part.  Something about crunching on the sugar is divinely satisfying.

I truly hope you enjoy this crisp, refreshing, champion drink as much as do...maybe just not quite as often as I do.  Cheers!

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